SOURCE: Industry Visions

Industry Visions

February 13, 2012 06:00 ET

Industrial Insulation Fire Hazard a Terrifying Catastrophe That Goes Unnoticed Until It's Too Late, WVSN Reports

DETROIT, MI--(Marketwire - Feb 13, 2012) - Industrial insulation is not an area where plant safety managers typically expect a cataclysmic industrial disaster to occur as everything appears to be normal. However, industrial insulation which is not resistant to absorption of flammable materials can lead to terrifying fires in industrial plants.

The wrong choices of proper insulation materials for pipes and vessels containing or transferring flammable liquids can be a recipe for big trouble. Solvent soaked insulation on pipes or vessels in chemical processing plants or refineries are prime examples of the extreme danger that could ignite fires or explosions. It can be a catastrophe that goes unnoticed until it's too late.

In a recent appearance on the Industry Visions news show, WVSN Reports, Steve Oslica of Pittsburgh Corning noted these scenarios are a clear and present danger to human life and loss of productivity. "These catastrophic fires and explosions can occur during the course of any business day because nobody even knows there is a problem until it's too late," said Oslica. "Often fibrous insulation becomes soaked with flammable liquids from a leaky valve or pipe fitting -- all of this goes unnoticed since insulation jacketing on the pipe or vessel keeps it from view."

When asked to site an example, Oslica recounted a personal field experience. "On one trip I received a call from a plant engineer who quite by accident discovered a smoldering line in one of their processing plants and did not know what was causing it. I arrived at the plant and immediately discovered smoldering pipe covered with a fibrous insulation that had become soaked with hot oil.

The temperature was between 500 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit teetering on the edge of bursting into flames. Immediately the situation was abated and kept from escalating to disaster. The insulation on those problem hot lines was replaced with FOAMGLAS® insulation, which prevented the situation from occurring again."

FOAMGLAS® insulation is the material of choice in areas where fire or explosion can occur.
Because is made entirely from glass and is 100% closed cell, it will not absorb liquids. In addition, and again because of its glass composition, it simply will not burn. Millions of linear feet of FOAMGLAS® insulation have been installed in some of the world's most recognized industrial facilities, further substantiating the Pittsburgh Corning pledge of service "Protecting Companies and Their People Worldwide™".

WVSN Reports is an international industrial news show highlighting the endeavors of American industry.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Allyn Mark
    WVSN Industry Visions
    810.358.6224